Why mindfulness in education
Wellbeing is essential for learning.1
With mindfulness students are more focussed and more engaged learners.2
The use of technology, smartphones and social media by children is affecting learning9 and there's more testing and pressure for students to perform.
Wellbeing affects how children think, learn and engage. Mindfulness can help with wellbeing, bringing about strong improvements in attention.4
It goes without saying that reduced engagement is related to reduced academic performance and to reduced career achievement later in life.7, 7a
Mindfulness is about focusing attention on the here and now, rather than thinking about the past or worrying about the future. Good mental health in childhood sets young people up for the future and their career.7
Mindfulness is a skill that can build the foundations for optimal student concentration and attention.4, 8 A regular mindfulness practise can have positive benefits on both students and educator engagement.8, 10
The results indicated that our program can assist with students' sleep, wellbeing, managing emotions, concentration and classroom school behaviour.
Everything we do here at Smiling Mind is backed by evidence, which is why we’ve just released our Evidence Based Guidelines For Mindfulness in Schools. This document aims to provide school leaders, teachers and other stakeholders who wish to implement mindfulness programs into their school learning environment with a clear and concise review of the evidence and existing best practice within education.
1 Semple, R. J., Droutman, V., & Reid, B. A. (2017). Mindfulness goes to school: things learned (so far) from research and real-world experiences. Psychology in the Schools, 54(1), 29-52.
2 Costello, E., & Lawler, M. (2014). An exploratory study of the effects of mindfulness on perceived levels of stress among school-children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. International Journal of Emotional Education, 6(2), 21.
3 Lawrence, D., Johnson, S., Hafekost, J., Boterhoven de Haan, K., Sawyer, M., Ainley, J., & Zubrick, S. R. (2015). The mental health of children and adolescents: report on the second Australian child and adolescent survey of mental health and wellbeing.
4 Napoli, M., Krech, P. R., & Holley, L. C. (2005). Mindfulness training for elementary school students: The attention academy. Journal of applied school psychology, 21(1), 99-125.
5 Engagement in Australian schools A paper prepared by the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) See: http://www.centralrangesllen.org.au/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/Engagement_in_Australian_Schools-Background_Paper.pdf
6 Engaging Students Creating Classrooms That Improve Learning. Grattan Institute. See: https://grattan.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Engaging-students-creating-classrooms-that-improve-learning.pdf
7 Green, J., Liem, G. A. D., Martin, A. J., Colmar, S., Marsh, H. W., & McInerney, D. (2012). Academic motivation, self-concept, engagement, and performance in high school: Key processes from a longitudinal perspective. Journal of adolescence, 35(5), 1111-1122.
7a Abbott‐Chapman, J., Martin, K., Ollington, N., Venn, A., Dwyer, T., & Gall, S. (2014). The longitudinal association of childhood school engagement with adult educational and occupational achievement: Findings from an Australian national study. British Educational Research Journal, 40(1), 102-120.
8 Willard, C., & Saltzman, A. (2015). Teaching mindfulness skills to kids and teens.
9 Tossell CC, Kortum P, Shepard C, Rahmati A, Zhong L. You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him learn: Smartphone use in higher education. British Journal of Educational Technology July 2015;46(4):713–724. Article first published online: 22 JUN 2014, DOI: 10.1111/bjet.12176
10 Cook, C. R., Miller, F. G., Fiat, A., Renshaw, T., Frye, M., Joseph, G., & Decano, P. (2017). Promoting secondary teachers’ well-being and intentions to implement evidence-based practices: randomized evaluation of the achiever resilience curriculum. Psychology in the Schools, 54(1), 13-28.
11 Zeman, J., Cassano, M., Perry-Parrish, C., & Stegall, S. (2006). Emotion regulation in children and adolescents. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 27(2), 155-168.
12 Klingbeil, D. A., Renshaw, T. L., Willenbrink, J. B., Copek, R. A., Chan, K. T., Haddock, A., ... & Clifton, J. (2017). Mindfulness-based interventions with youth: A comprehensive meta-analysis of group-design studies. Journal of school psychology, 63, 77-103.
13 Schonert-Reichl, K. A., & Lawlor, M. S. (2010). The effects of a mindfulness-based education program on pre-and early adolescents’ well-being and social and emotional competence. Mindfulness, 1(3), 137-151.
13a Beauchemin, J., Hutchins, T. L., & Patterson, F. (2008). Mindfulness meditation may lessen anxiety, promote social skills, and improve academic performance among adolescents with learning disabilities. Complementary Health Practice Review, 13(1), 34-45.
14 Lawlor, M. S. (2016). Mindfulness and social emotional learning (SEL): A conceptual framework. In Handbook of mindfulness in education (pp. 65-80). Springer, New York, NY.
15 Crain, T. L., Schonert-Reichl, K. A., & Roeser, R. W. (2017). Cultivating teacher mindfulness: Effects of a randomized controlled trial on work, home, and sleep outcomes. Journal of occupational health psychology, 22(2), 138.
16 Cook, C. R., Miller, F. G., Fiat, A., Renshaw, T., Frye, M., Joseph, G., & Decano, P. (2017). Promoting secondary teachers’ well-being and intentions to implement evidence-based practices: randomized evaluation of the achiever resilience curriculum. Psychology in the Schools, 54(1), 13-28.
17 Singh NN, Lancioni GE, Winton ASW, Karazsia BT, Singh J. Mindfulness Training for Teachers Changes the Behavior of Their Preschool Students. Research in Human Development 2013;10(3):211–233.
18 El Nokali, N. E., Bachman, H. J., & Votruba‐Drzal, E. (2010). Parent involvement and children’s academic and social development in elementary school. Child development, 81(3), 988-1005.